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Marillion - Afraid Of Sunlight CD (album) cover





3.78 | 656 ratings

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5 stars This is tied with Misplaced Childhood as my favourite Marillion album, and it is head and shoulders above any of the other H-era albums. It's ironic, considering they apparently spent much less time and money on this album than on Brave (another fine album). This may be the best prog album of the 90s, although I suppose its "progginess" may be questionable- call it the best of "neo" if you like, although IQ's best is in a similar league. Afraid of Sunlight is a coherent album with a glossy, summery sheen to it, and each song has wonderful production touches, fine lyrics and great guitar/keyboard textures. A loose theme of the tenous nature of celebrity and the madness that can accompany it helps to create that sense of coherency. Gazpacho evokes the ghost of John Lennon and the crimes of OJ Simpson in a catchy, driving pop song. Cannibal Surf Babe is a bizarre tribute to Brian Wilson. Beautiful is a ballad that verges on schmaltziness, but its sincerity and great melody pulls it back from the edge. Afraid of Sunlight is an expansive, spacy ballad that is almost dream-pop. The band pays homage to Phil Spector's wall of sound on Beyond You, and King and Out of this World are longer, proggy soundscapes that build up to great, roaring crescendos. This is a confident album with sunny keyboards, delay-drenched electric guitars and dense mixes, but with dark themes lurking under the glistening surface. As a whole, it may be Marillion's strongest album from the first tune to the last. Since Marillion is considered such an important band in modern prog, I have no problem calling this CD a masterpiece. A final word- Marillion made the questionable choice of remastering albums that were not very old and offering them as only two disk sets at a high price. I can understand that treatment for 80s albums, but it seem silly to have remastered a three year old album. The second CD is demos and outtakes and is only really of interest to raving Freaks. Nonetheless, despite the inflated price of the remaster, this one's actually worth it.
Heptade | 5/5 |


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